IRVING, Texas (KMOX) – Three players with St. Louis professional football ties were named Thursday to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Purdue University defensive lineman Dave Butz (1970-1972) was the first round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973. He played two seasons for the Big Red before being traded to the Washington Redskins, where he played until 1988 & won two Super Bowls. Butz now makes his home in Belleville, Illinois.
Cornerback Leonard Smith had a stellar career at McNeese State from 1979-1982. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Smith 17th overall in 1983, & he played through 1988 with St. Louis & Arizona.
Defensive back Dre Bly earned All-American status twice at the University of North Carolina from 1996-1998. The St. Louis Rams drafted him in the 2nd round of the 1999 NFL Draft (41 overall). Bly earned a Super Bowl ring with the Rams and played in St. Louis through 2002. He retired from the NFL in 2010 after playing for several teams.
Among the others named to the college hall’s class of 2014: Kansas City Chiefs alums Derrick Thomas & Willie Roaf, as well as other NFL greats Sterling Sharpe, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Tony Boselli.
Induction is set for December 9, 2014 in New York.
The National Football Foundation says a new College Football Hall of Fame facility is being built in Atlanta, with an opening date expected in August.